sunrise on Cedar Key

Sunrise from the bridge leading into the town of Cedar Key.

I’m sitting outside Serenity watching a giant white bird — I think a great egret, but maybe a snowy egret — stalk its breakfast in the water and wondering why those birds are so cool. Partly it’s the color, of course — it’s such a pure, almost shocking white. But it’s also the mix of awkwardness and grace. They look so ridiculous when they’re standing still or when they’re just beginning to fly — legs too tall, neck too long — but their movement can so quickly become beautiful. And their stillness has such an expectant, waiting quality to it. A predatory peace. Hmm, that feels like the beginning of an idea. Probably just because it’s alliterative, though.

My weekend was glorious. The storm brought a cold front in and the temperatures dropped, into the 50s at night, only up to the 70s during the day. It was delightful. I baked cornbread and made a bay scallop chowder, grilled pork chops with a spice rub and chicken marinated in yogurt and garlic, made salad dressing with my homemade yogurt… I also took some nice long walks with Zelda and wrote some good words, but really, it was the cooking that made me happy, I think. Well, or vice versa — I was happy so I was cooking. But either way, I had a lovely couple of days.

Yesterday, though, I looked at the weather report for the week coming up and thought, ugh. Back to the high 80s by Tuesday. Then I looked around me at the open spaces in the campground and thought, hmm… so I strolled over to the office and asked about moving to a different campsite. The ones I asked about were already booked, but the campground host suggested another one. My old site was on the water, but in the direct sun most of the day. My new site is not on the water, but it’s got trees all around it. Also, a concrete pad and a gravel driveway, which I didn’t know enough to care about until I realized last night that Zelda was no longer bringing a handful of sand into the van with her with every step. Yay for gravel and concrete! And trees. It also still has a lovely view, which could disappear if someone moves into the site across the way, but for the moment at least, this campsite is all good things. It’s in the very center of the campground, too, which I probably would not like if the campground was crowded, but in its two-thirds empty state, it just means that we’re getting to meet all the dogs that wander by. I’ve counted either eleven or thirteen this morning. (I’m not sure whether there are two sets of people with two labs each or whether those were the same labs being walked by different people.)

My summer plans have reverted to their previous state, which means I’ll be heading up to PA in June, down to North Carolina in July, with destinations along the way to be determined. R, in a move that I find both amusing and also somewhat gratifying, turned his summer internship into a tutorial, applied for funding, got it, and now has his transportation issues resolved without relying on me. My lecture on settling still feels appropriate — I really think he underestimates himself — but I think he would argue that I just think he’s great because I’m his mom. I’m pretty sure he’s great, though. But I’m looking forward to my Pennsylvania blueberries and my North Carolina beach days, so no complaints.

Bay scallop chowder

My bay scallop chowder. Next time I wouldn’t use broccoli but might add some bacon. The mushrooms, eh. Not sure about those either. (Made with no recipe, obviously, just what I had on hand.) The bay scallops are amazing, though. I might have to buy some more before I leave.